Thursday, September 5, 2013

Brain Candy by Jaleta Clegg

Nineteen tales on the lighter side of horror. Dyslexic witches, bumbling vampires, gelatinous blobs, and other creatures of the night battle with little girls in frilly dresses, twelve-year-old choir boys, grandmothers, and other unexpected monster hunters. Come explore the silliness of being afraid.

Find it on Amazon at

     Jaleta Talks About Writing Brain Candy:  

If you'd asked me when I started writing seriously if I'd ever write horror, I would have given you an emphatic, "NO!" I don't do horror. I don't creepy, scary, icky. I don't do dark. Like everything else I've said I would never do, I've written plenty of horror. But I still don't do dark. Brain Candy is a collection of horror stories on the lighter side, my way of laughing at the crap life tosses my way. What's the best way to scare off the monsters under the bed or in the closet? Turn them into something ridiculous or absurd.

I hadn't realized how many horror short stories I'd written until I compiled this collection. These range from the outright campy silly to the light-hearted romantic to the skin crawling something's watching me. They make me laugh. A couple made me cry. I love all of them in all their weirdness. Writing these stories gives me a chance to play, to let my imagination romp through the world of happy little nightmares. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Excerpt from "Always a Bridesmaid":

So there we were, at the church, all dressed in our Sunday finery. The Thursday sun streamed through the stained glass, painting rainbows across the chapel. William Rutherford, the groom, fidgeted at the altar, nervous as a cat in a leaky rowboat. Old Mrs. Wilson tootled the organ, treating us to the same hymn preludes she’d played for every occasion for the last fifty years. Great-Aunt Tildie rested in her coffin in the Sunday School room. Cousin Lizzie primped in the bathroom, waiting for her grand entrance.
The ancient cooling system puffed and wheezed, trying to keep up with the rising temperature. Reverend Jim beamed at the congregation, swaying back and forth in time to Mrs. Wilson’s rendition of Onward Christian Soldiers. The Reverend had obviously partaken of the sacramental wine, and a few other spirits, that morning. As long as he could still say the right words, Grandmother Lily let it slide.
Aunt Marion, the mother of the bride, finally entered, bustling to her seat on the very front row. She adjusted her fussy blue hat, her fat little mouth pinched in a smile of smug satisfaction. Lyda Thompson Rutherford, mother of the groom, returned the smile with a grimace. How two feuding families had managed to arrange a wedding was beyond my twelve-year-old understanding.
I sweated in the choir loft with the other nine choir boys. We had a perfect view of the congregation from our perch on one side of the chapel. Pleasant Green’s church was built over a hundred and fifty years ago by three drunken Scotchmen, brothers with their own ideas of how a church should be built. It wasn’t orthodox, but it was ours, and it was solid with Scottish know-how and hard work.
Jimmy Duncan flapped his choir robe, creating a slight breeze and stirring the dust. We giggled and poked each other.
“I wish she’d hurry up. I’m dying of heat stroke.” Frankie Tucker tugged his robe away from his neck.
“Weddings are boring.” Beauford Radley rolled his eyes and punched Jimmy in the arm.
Mrs. Wilson dropped the military march mid-chorus. She slammed into the opening chords of the wedding march. All ten of us boys craned our necks to see the grand entrance of Cousin Lizzie in her wedding do. The double doors crashed open.
Everyone stifled screams, except drunk Reverend Jim and blind Mrs. Wilson, at the apparition lurching into the chapel. Great-Aunt Tildie, sagging in her blue Sunday dress, shambled up the aisle. Cousin Lizzie’s white veil trailed from her sculpted white hair. The bridal bouquet wilted in her tightly clenched fists.
“She’s dead, ain’t she?” Frankie whispered.

If you enjoyed this, check it out on Amazon.  Also, check out Jaleta's website for more about her books and stories.


  1. Thanks! I had too much fun making it. The brain cupcake is from Monster Kookies. I love her zombie jewelry. You can't see it in the picture, but the print version even has a rainbow on the back cover. That's the way I do horror.